Forest Service press releases

Marina Fire

The Marina Fire is 819 acres this evening and is 30% contained. The fire is located north of Lee Vining and west of Mono Lake and is burning in pinyon and brush.

Today crews strengthened the south, east, and north flanks of the fire, again focused on protecting the nearby communities and along Highway 395. Additionally, support from both helicopters, airplanes, and tankers (including the very large air tanker, or VLAT) helped minimize hotspots and slow fire growth, which assisted firefighters on the ground.

Crews also worked on contingency lines and scouted options to tie in the western flank.

Highway 395 is closed at the town of Lee Vining on the south at the turnoff for Hawthorne, NV (Highway 167) on the north. However, California Highway Patrol is conducting one-way traffic escorts as conditions allow. Mono County Sheriff and Caltrans District 9 have worked tirelessly with CHP to implement this escort.

The Tioga Lodge and two additional residences have been evacuated. Lee Vining and Mono City are under an evacuation advisory.

SoCal Team 1 will assume command of the incident tomorrow morning at 6:00 am.

There are approximately 350 personnel on the fire. Eight hand crews, 23 engines, six helicopters, two fixed wing aircraft, two dozers, and three water tenders are assigned to the fire.

The fire is under Unified Command with the US Forest Service and Mono County Sheriff’s Office. The fire has been determined to be human-caused and remains under investigation.

Erskine Fire

June 25, 2016 6:00 P.M.

Fire Start: June 23, 2016

Location: Lake Isabella

Cause: under investigation        

Size: 35,711 acres

Percent Contained: 0%

Total Number of Personnel: 1,139

Costs to Date: $3 million

Expected containment date: June 30, 2016

Unified Command: BLM, Kern County Fire Department, Kern County Sheriffs, USFS

Erskine Fire Information Phone Line: (760) 376-3781

Fire Summary:

Firefighting efforts on the Erskine Fire continue as reduced wind speeds allow for better access to the fire line. Primary focus of resources will be the east and south east portions of the fire in the Kelso Valley area. Air operations on this incident have been very successful as the fire has moved into sparser concentrations of vegetation. However hot weather and low relative humidities continue to challenge firefighters.

A damage assessment team has arrived at the incident and is currently involved in damage assessment to homes destroyed as well as those damaged by the fire. Current numbers of destroyed structures are: 150 ; Damage structures: 75

Two fatalities have been confirmed. For additional information contact Kern County Sheriffs department.

The total number of personnel assigned to the incident stands at 1139 with additional resources on the way.

A public meeting is scheduled this evening at 6:00 P.M. Woodrow Wallace Elementary, 3240 Erskine Creek Road in Lake Isabella.

Additional Precautionary Evacuations:

Landers Meadow and Claraville area. This includes the area along Piute Mountain road between Kelso Valley road and Saddle Springs road.

Recommended Evacuations:

Bella Vista, South fork, Yankee canyon, Weldon, Southlake, Squirrel valley, Lakeland estates Onnyx and Mountain Mesa.

Road Closures: 

HWY 178 closed at intersection of HWY155 and Sierra Highway.